Thursday, March 11, 2010

Defining Moments

Do we have only one? Do we have several?

Do we only know about them after they’ve happened?

Can we create them?

I’ve had a few: where afterwards there is a stronger sense of self and one's place in the world. But most of all it is a feeling that now, now, all things are possible: Let's get on with the important business of living this one and only wild and precious life to the very maximum.

And I list these moments, not in any order of importance because it seems odd to compare them. I could even be forgetting some. They are all unique in their own right and it seems to diminish them somehow by listing them in any kind of significance.

Becoming sober in 1986.

Completing a marathon in Toronto in 1995.

Giving birth to my children in 1967 and 1969.

My granddaughter’s birth in 1994 and thus knowing what my mother shared with me when my daughter was born and what her mother had shared with her when I was born.

Placing first in overall marks in my school in Grade 6.

Getting my first role in a semi-professional theatre company in 1962.

Playing guitar and singing folksongs in a pub for the first time in 1964.

Emigrating to Canada on one of the last ocean going liners in 1967.

Getting my first award for writing in 1956.

Coming to Newfoundland in 2003 and realizing ‘this is it, this is home’.

Reading my own work publicly in 2008.

I’m sure there are more but none come to mind at the moment

Extraordinary how none of these little life-markers have anything to do with careers, promotions, working, relationships and marriages, eh?

This could be a meme, have at it if you’re so inclined.


  1. Hmmm - I've definitely not had as many as you! :-) But these are the ones which, when I look back on them, helped me believe that I could do anything, as long as I put my mind to it.

    Winning a poetry competition aged 11, and seeing my work in print.

    Jumping out of a plane (with a parachute, and someone to work the strings) over Noosa, Australia, aged 18

    Playing the solo in "Gabriel's Oboe" - it was only in a rehearsal (as the first oboe was away), but the conductor knew that I loved the piece, and so let me have my chance to play it. (and along those lines, playing "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" in a number of concerts)

    Moving back home after my confidence had been shredded after three years of hell in boarding school, aged 14, then joining our local Red Cross group and walk into the hall on my first meeting on my own.

    Getting off the plane in New Zealand, and knowing that I'd come home.

  2. An interesting list. As you say, fascinating that the so-called biggies aren't included. I would include them in my case though, particularly my long hook-up with Jenny and some other past relationships. But yes, it's those more personal things that have such an impact by boosting self-confidence or happiness or a sense of potential.

  3. You've set me thinking - your milestones are all noteworthy seeing they had an impact on how you thought of yourself and your personal achievements.

  4. I think I'm having a defining moment right now, changing my medication and feeling so much better after such a long time. This may be a milestone in my life. A time when a lot turns around for the better. I'll say, "2010, what a year."

  5. My thinking cap must be askew this morning, WWW, I can't come up with a single moment in my life which strikes me as being "defining" of moi. I enjoyed reading yours though. I guess I'm still a work in progress! ;-)

  6. I like your list and yes personal defining moments are the ones that count cuz they define you as a human being. Career job whatever define your place in the Hive.

  7. I'll try this one, but it will take some time. I think it will have to be a post, because a lot of those moments for me will take time to explain.


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